Around 4,000 containers stuck at Ctg port

Trailer strike continues

Our Correspondent . Chittagong

Container carrying to and from the Chittagong port on roads was disrupted for the second consecutive day on Tuesday as the trailer operators went on an indefinite strike on Monday morning demanding suspension of the activities of two axle load control centres on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway.
Chittagong Port Authorities member (admin) Jafar Alam said trailer operators carry around 2,000 imported containers from the port every day, so around 4,000 containers got stuck at the port yards in the past two days because of the strike.
He, however, added that container carrying was not totally suspended as covered vans and freight trains continued carrying the containers.
Port sources said a huge number of export containers got stranded at 16 private inland container depots in Chittagong due to the strike.
They also said the trailer operators, however, were carrying the export containers of readymade garments which were scheduled for shipment.
Jafar Alam said they were facing problem with shipment of exporting containers as they also got stuck in different private depots.
Chittagong Prime Mover Trailer Owners-Workers Unity Association member secretary Abu Bakar Siddiq said the government did not say anything about their demand till Tuesday afternoon.
He said the Roads and Highways Department fixed a limit for carrying goods and announced fines against overload vehicles.
A 14-wheel prime mover is allowed to ply with maximum 33 tonnes of weight. But importers and exporters load around 50 tonnes of goods in a forty-foot container, he informed.
The vehicles are fined Tk 2,000-12,000 if they carry more than 33 tonnes, said the trailer operators’ leader, adding that the RHD made the decision without any discussion with transport owners and workers.
Abu Bakar said Roads and Highways Department imposed fine on long vehicles at two axle load control centres located at Gomti and Meghna Bridge on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway from September 24.
The RHD employees lodged cases against over a hundred vehicles on charge of over loading and also assaulted some drivers who had declined to pay the fine, said Abu Bakar.
Humayun Kabir, joint-member secretary of Chittagong Prime Mover Trailer Owners-Workers Unity Association, said Around 11,000 trailers run under the supervision of the association. The trailers carry containers from and to Chittagong and Mongla ports.
He said container carrying by trailers remained suspended all over the country.
‘We also kept container carrying from Mongla Port in Khulna suspended,’ said Humayun.

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